Escaping the vaccine immune escape
Over the weekend, the weight of current events got to me. It drove me to seek distraction. More accurately, I promised my wife I’d take a break from reading Covid news and from futile debates online with Covid zealots. And so I took to Netflix and sought out some pre-2020 viewing I was convinced would be as far away from Emergency Use Authorisations, monoclonal antibodies and vaccine passports as possible. This took the form of one movie and one series: a rewatch of the excellent film “The Big Short”, and a new-ish series about a magician doing street tricks on randomers, called “Magic for Humans”.
Though highly entertaining, both titles failed to provide an escape from the ‘Rona Blues. To my utter surprise, I’d picked two offerings that struck closer to the heart of the Covid debate than any Joe Rogan podcast or John Campbell Youtube Clip could.
Blame it on the algorithm.
Herd immunity versus herd mentality
Of course, both are set in a world that existed before the corona crisis was even a twinkle in Klaus Schwab’s eye. The Big Short was made in 2015, but it describes events leading up to the financial crash of 2008. More specifically, it details how the mortgage bond market was manipulated through the creation of financial instruments (called collateralised debt obligations) that encouraged ever riskier subprime lending. I’d seen it all before, but in the rearview mirror of media-induced virus hysteria, the underlying theme really comes into focus.
The film lays bare that the 2008 crisis was not only likely, but in fact inevitable. The fascinating part of the story is not how a handful of finance guys figured this out (and therefore made millions), it is how everyone else didn’t. After all, nothing they discovered was in any way hidden. The only thing these guys did differently was look. They literally walked into housing estates in Florida and talked to mortgage brokers, homeowners and real estate agents and quickly understood that the loans backing the bonds were garbage. Which meant the bonds were garbage, which meant the banks holding the bonds were garbage.
How did Alan Greenspan and his successor Ben Bernanke not see this coming? How did the shareholders of the banks, who lost their life savings, not see it? How did the legislators and the President not see it? For those of us who still believe in rationality, it is a humbling reminder that the wisdom of the masses is based on nothing more than the wool of the sheep standing next to you. Just because something is posted on a billboard, a government website, or comes blasting out of your neighbour’s mouth, doesn’t make it true.
The other lesson from The Big Short, even more worrying, is that when this kind of mass delusion takes root, it takes a hard and painful crash in order for everyone to snap out of their hypnosis. That was what I stewed on as the closing credits rolled.
It’s a kinda magic
So I shook my head and turned to the magician Justin Willman doing tricks on the mask-free streets of a 2018 Los Angeles. “Magic for Humans” sounded both magical and, well, …human. Surely the widening of children’s eyes as a blob of water defies gravity would succeed where global financial mismanagement had failed to distract my Covid-addled brain. And the first few of Willman’s tricks did not disappoint – artful slights of hand; fun gimmicks to please passer-bys. That is, until he got to the internet influencers.
This segment came in episode 2, and it made my blood run cold. Three young internet personalities were brought into a sort of ‘fun house’ and given a diverse box of props. After a short introduction by the magician, they were asked to go around the various rooms with their phones, separately, and take selfies with whatever props they thought would make the best Instagram post. Afterwards, Willman asked them to each separately select the single best picture and give it a hashtag. Without any consultation, all three had chosen the same spot in the house – a watermelon themed swing; the same prop – an ice tray; and the same hashtag – #TrayCool. Then Willman revealed the picture he had already pre-cooked of himself with exactly the same details, the one he knew they would do too.
Plus ca change, plus on demeure aussi idiot qu’avant
The point was that his ‘short intro’ was so full of suggestive images that they had been steered into making what they thought were independent choices, but were in fact pre-programmed by the magician himself. Of course, when you see a trick like that play out, it is almost impossible not to draw the parallels to what has been happening over the past 21 months. If one TV magician can manipulate people so completely in the space of five minutes, just think what a team of ‘nudgers’ in a government department could do, with the resources of the State, the complicity of the mainstream media, and the cooperation of all the Big Tech platforms.
Could they do enough to get people to take an experimental vaccine they don’t need and could possibly harm them? Enough to get them to give it to their children? Enough to get them to surrender all their civil liberties and cower from life, triple-masked, in a bubble of fear? Enough to get them to agree to show a medical record to access their local pub or supermarket, forever, with no sunset clause? Enough to get them to hate… yes HATE … anyone who opposes the prevailing narrative – even close friends, even loved ones?
Maybe so. We’ll have to wait for the Netflix documentary to find out.